Sheffield United replace Slavisa Jokanovic with Paul Heckingbottom

Sheffield United have sacked Slavisa Jokanovic and have immediately replaced him with Paul Heckingbottom, who has agreed a long-term contract at Bramall Lane until 2026.

Jokanovic was brought in as a permanent successor to Chris Wilder in the summer and has a proven track record in the Championship with Watford and Fulham, but the former Chelsea midfielder was let go after winning only six of his 19 league games in charge.

With prior managerial experience at Barnsley, Leeds and Hibernian, Heckingbottom first arrived in South Yorkshire in 2019 to take charge of the Under-23 squad. He was promoted to interim first-team boss when Wilder left in March but returned to his previous role when Jokanovic was hired.

Heckingbottom’s appointment appears to be the next step in what the club has described as ‘several months of strategic planning’. Jack Lester has been appointed head of player development, while Stuart McCall returns to Bramall Lane as assistant manager.

“You can achieve success two ways, chucking money at it or creating success,” Heckingbottom said as he was presented to the media as Blades boss.

“This club had taken off when I walked in and everything had been put at the top end, there is a gap between where we got to in the Premier League and having the infrastructure and people to get there again and sustain it.

“If this season is going to be a success, it’s down to the staff and players so that’ll be the focus. There’s no substitute for hard work and those who do will be dragged along, and those who don’t won’t,” he added.

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